Nothing creates an atmosphere of comfort, quite like an open fire. That is one reason fire pits are such popular additions to today’s outdoor home living spaces. Adding colored glass can raise the aesthetic appeal when using fire. There are myriad ways to design your fire pit so that it fits your lifestyle. Once the practicalities are taken care of, it is time to turn your attention to aesthetics. How do you want your fire to look? Fire glass is the perfect way to add a beautiful glow to your fire, but not every glass is suitable. Can you use glass marbles in a fire pit? Here, we find out!
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What Is Fire Glass?
Fire glass is tempered glass made specifically for use in gas fire pits and fireplaces, manufactured to withstand high temperatures and to retain heat. Unlike regular glass, fire glass will not melt, explode, smoke, or collect soot.
Fire glass comes in a variety of colors, which allows the opportunity to choose something to match your current decor, whether indoors or outdoors.
Types Of Glass
There are two types of fire glass: recycled and tempered reflective. They are made differently and have different uses.
Use tempered glass panels with a mirrored finished to create reflective glass. It is broken and gives off dancing reflections as the fire burns. With this type of glass, the edges are not finished. That means there is the possibility of the glass cutting you, particularly when putting it into the fire pit.
Recycled Pit Glass
Recycled glass, made from window scraps and glass bottles, is melted and processed again using a specific furnace for re-purposing the glass into beautiful fire pit glass. There is a different formula for each color. The fire pit glass is colored, cooked, and cooled before being made into small pieces ready for consumer use in a glass firepit.
Is It Safe To Use Fire Glass?
It is safe to use fire glass, and it looks awe-inspiring when the fire is burning. Use as directed to ensure the safety of you and your guests.
Fire Glass Proves Versatile
There are a variety of ways to use fire glass. Use the glass in place of ceramic logs or lava rocks. Traditional materials placed inside a fireplace hold no aesthetic appeal, especially when burning. They’re not particularly colorful, and your guests have likely seen them at every other home they’ve visited. It is an entirely different story with a fire glass pit. This glass comes in vivid colors guaranteed to wow guests, and it’s versatile. You can use it in many areas in and around your house and garden.
Find A Different Way To Use Fire Glass
Use fire glass outside the fire pit as well. With its bright colors, fire glass can be an excellent filler for plants or a rock bed. Use it in areas typically using rock or dirt. Use glass to line sidewalks or concrete patios. The color lends an additional dimension to the design. Using colored glass is a great way to add a touch of color during months flowers don’t typically bloom.
Can You Use Any Glass In A Fire Pit?
Only tempered glass can safely be used in a gas or propane fire pit. When subjected to extreme heat and flames, the non-tempered glass may produce hazardous chemicals. It may also melt, burn, discolor, crack, pop, and become an extremely dangerous projectile.
Does Fire Glass Burn?
It is important to note that fire glass is not a fuel for your fire pit. The glass will not burn on its own; it needs some form of fuel. Fire glass is for decoration. It requires a source like natural gas or propane to help it reach its fullest potential. While it is not flammable, fire glass certainly adds flare to the fire pit.
Natural Gas Or Propane?
Natural gas is the number one choice for use in your glass fire pit. It is the better choice because it burns cleaner than propane. There is no leftover residue sitting on the surface of the glass, nor does it give off as much carbon, and there is a lot less soot build up as the fire burns. That means more fires with less mess, so using natural gas can help preserve the beauty of the glass for longer.
A propane fire has special instructions, but can still work with fire glass. Heavier than natural gas, propane will settle below the burner instead of intermingling with the air above it. This collection of propane under the burner is more likely to flare up as the fire burns. This fire and heat flash can cause the fire glass to hold extra heat inside the air pockets, causing the glass to crack and become damaged, depending on the intensity of the flare-up. With many flare-ups, the fire glass may continue to pop as the fire burns.
Lighting The Fire Glass
There are different points where the fuel will come out of to ensure that multiple areas of the bowl are burning. These points are called burners. To get the fire glass glowing, turn the gas on, and use an extended lighter towards the burner. With the gas turned on, the fire will light and remain lit until the gas turns off. Having different burners across the length of the fire trench helps create the illusion that the glass is on fire.
Check Your Gas
If you see your glass is turning black, check your gas. Fire glass is non-combustible and un-treated with any chemicals or additives that can produce a residue on the glass. What you see is a fine coating of black soot on the surface. It is telling you the gas in your propane or natural gas fire pit is not burning correctly.
How Much Fire Glass Do I Need?
You need to make sure you have enough fire glass to fill the fire bowl. How much you need depends on how much depth you want and the coverage you need. You can do a few easy measurements to get an idea of how much glass you might need. Measure the depth and width of a rectangular or square pit, and the diameter and depth of a circular one.
You will need 2 to 3 inches of fire glass to cover the burners of your natural gas fire pit, but not more than 1 inch if using propane. If you have a huge fire pit, use a filler and top with fire glass for a well-polished look without outlying a fortune.
Find areas around your landscaping and use extra glass left after filling your fire pit to add pops of color.
A smaller natural gas fire pit producing a more casual flame needs small pieces of colored glass. Smaller glass sizes are usually ¼ inch and ⅜ inch. For a larger, more three-dimensional look and larger flame, you want a bigger glass piece. These come in ½ inch and ¾ inch sizes.
Mixing Materials With Fire Glass
Do not use lava rocks, lava pebbles, rocks/pebbles, or any other porous material under fire glass. While among the most popular choices of topping mediums for modern fire pits, each one absorbs and retains heat quite differently. It can be dangerous to use stones that are not specified heat-resistant, as they can crack, pop, and explode when heated. Do not use these materials with fire glass.